The first part of my birth story can be found here.
I’ve heard the sensation of a caesarean section being described as like having the washing up done in your stomach. Since no one has ever done the washing up in my stomach, I cannot confirm of deny the truth of this statement. I can tell you however that it’s an odd feeling. A bit like the most enormous baby kicks and rolls of the last few months, magnified a few hundred times.
“Here are your waters.” I had to smile as the waters we’d tried so hard to break were suctioned out with a magnificent slurp.
I heard someone ask Ian if he was squeamish and I was vaguely aware of him, by the left side of my head, standing up with camera in hand. Everything felt very narrow and focused. Music was playing, but I couldn’t tell you what. Time was passing, but it felt frozen. Nothing mattered except the safe arrival of our baby.
“Here we go. Get ready to meet your baby.”
I looked up as they lifted my baby high above my head, above the blue surgical drape that separated my head from my lower half and I laid my eyes on him for the very first time.
Tears were already running down my face and my voice cracked as I declared to the room “It’s a boy.” I may have lost all control over my birth experience, but it meant so much to me to be the one to announce this, to introduce him to everyone else as I met him for the first time.
Ian was right next to me squeezing my hand. “I knew it” I whispered. “It’s a boy. We did it.”
“You did it.” Ian replied, his own face streaked with uncontrolled tears.
Thomas’s lusty cry seemed to fill all the available space in the room, as he was not afraid to express his displeasure at his abrupt entrance in to the rather bright, noisy world. “Is he OK?” I asked over and over again, sending Ian to the resuscitation unit in the corner where the midwife and paediatric team were busy cleaning him up and checking him out. What could only have been moments later, but felt like forever, he was handed to me, bundled tightly in a towel, tufts of dark hair protruding at the edges.
“He’s perfect” the midwife told me with a smile. “Congratulations Mummy and Daddy.”
“I’m a Mum” I whispered. I knew it was coming. I’ve had nine months to prepare, but it still took me by surprise and took my breath away.
I wanted to hold him tightly to me, finding it difficult to wrap my head around the fact that after all this time inside me, physical space now separated him from him. But it was almost impossible for me to hold him, laid flat on my back as they worked to put my lower half back together. Instead, Ian sat by my side, cuddling our boy close to him and for the first time getting the opportunity to directly protect the life we created together, but which I’ve carried for nine months.
We really had done it.